Sunday, November 11, 2007

After "Burlesque" by AD "Echoes" "Whit(h)er" "In Somnolence" JKD "A Kind of Soft Sound" AM "Imagine Laid..." BS "Stainless Sunset..." MN "Glut" JW

(Please note, as the blogger format doesn't allow long enough lines on some screens, that this is meant to be all in couplets, with one final last line.)
We Carried Shallow Bowls
by Sue Chenette

We carried shallow bowls through thickets of oak and thistle
past Blockbuster and Rush, Sleep Comfort, Blinds To Go

balanced them in both hands. Sometimes
wandering the mall after work we saw reflected

flashes of flightless birds familiar with tufts and feathers,
displaced in vague parts of our body. Or bonelets

fell in splintering the blue places forgotten.
On soft mornings the bowls cradled mirror-echelons

clouds whorled and rafted an inverted sky and then,
or nights when satellites and planets hung lit in the dark water

it seemed deeper. We weren’t sure.
From time to time the surface, pinguid, exploded in flame

and we staggered, stiffened our arms to save ourselves.
Some burned, woke again as white dust

in the 3 am fluorescence of our television screens.
We grieved for them, rain troubled our thin roof.

Our palms thickened with calluses, fingers warped
around the particular shapes of soup plates, saladiers.

Our necks cricked looking into them.
The bowls grew heavy, and when we came through dusty vines

to October, its yellow leaves pressed tight against the sky,
we laid them on the grass. It wasn’t the water’s shimmer we missed

when, with a kind of soft sound, we set them down,
but their rough concavity against our hands:

concrete, or stone, knobbed gourds, gnarled ironwood.

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